What the heck is an NFO?
The Non-Fungible Object (NFO) is a revolutionary new hybrid medium that bridges the gap between physical artwork and the blockchain. It provides users with an unprecedented level of provenance, authenticity, and transaction security. The NFO also gives digital artists a way to offer physical output of their artwork, while maintaining the relationship between the IRL output and the on-chain token.
Each NFO has a unique identifier that is stored on the blockchain along with other key information such as the date of sale, price, and links to any related digital media. When an NFO is sold, the transaction is recorded on the blockchain—a decentralized ledger that provides a secure, tamper-proof record of transactions.
The NFO is much more than just a digital certificate of ownership…it is a secure system for transacting art without intermediaries. Artwork can be bought and sold using only an NFC-capable mobile device, a crypto wallet, and an internet connection. If you have the linked token in your wallet, you can scan the artwork to unlock the token for transfer and approve offers. Once an offer is accepted by both parties, funds and the token are held in escrow. When the new owner receives the artwork and scans to confirm, the funds are released from escrow and the token is transferred to the new owner’s wallet.
Minting the token by scanning the artwork creates a cryptographic link between the object and the token. This groundbreaking technology creates a secure token that's directly associated with physical artwork—a development that opens up a number of creative and economic capabilities. At its core, minting combines NFC-embedded artwork with cryptography. Here's how it works: first, the chip embedded in the art piece is scanned to extract a secret used to generate a public key that can sign smart contracts. That public key then serves as a binding force between the actual artwork and any associated token. The result? Token holders can securely manage their assets by interacting with the chip embedded in the artwork itself—that’s what makes the NFO truly revolutionary.
Arthur created the NFO because we believe artists should be able to take advantage of the creative and economic opportunities enabled by blockchain technology, regardless of what medium they choose. Resale royalties have long evaded artists in the traditional art world, at least partially because they are impossible to enforce without a public ledger of transactions. Using blockchain-based sales for physical artwork addresses many of the structural issues that have prevented artists from receiving royalty payments.
NFOs offer an innovative medium that embraces both art and technology while providing a safe, secure platform on which to purchase art with unprecedented confidence. Secure transactions, authentication, and royalty payments are the core features of an NFO…but this hybrid physical/digital medium creates many other possibilities. We have a few ideas ourselves, but we’re most excited to work with artists and collectors to build a platform that works for them. If you are interested in using NFO technology in an upcoming project, drop us a line! We love art, we love building, and we’re here to move things forward in a way that benefits everyone.